Skip to main content

Murray Journal

Cottonwood boys hoops lifts its first region title since 2006-07

Mar 08, 2023 03:26PM ● By Brian Shaw

Chris Cox was a pivotal scorer for the region-winning Colts. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

It has been an uphill climb since Marc Miller was hired as Cottonwood boys head basketball coach four years ago. But every year has always been marked by steady improvement along the way. 

This year, the Colts won their first outright region title in nearly two decades. 

“Obviously we’re excited about it, it’s our first region championship in 16 years,” said Cottonwood Athletic Director Greg Southwick. “At 21-1 it’s a compliment to the kids and the coaches and all of the hard work they’re putting in.” 

This year for Cottonwood (21-1, 11-0 Region 7 Class 5A) has marked the most successful for the boys basketball program since 2006-07. The Colts shared that region title with Olympus in what was then Class 4A. 

Now look who’s going back to 4A—the same school that had current Cottonwood head football coach Donovan Malmrose on it. 

That reunion with 4A will have to wait until the next school year, but Malmrose was a senior guard on that Cottonwood co-region champion team that gave Mountain Crest a scare at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Feb. 26, 2007. 

The Colts’ new football coach was a senior, and drove the lane for a layup with only 12 seconds remaining—before the Colts watched their dreams of a state basketball title fade on the other team’s ensuing possession. 

Cottonwood certainly hopes that its final season in Class 5A goes beyond that, in March at the 5A state tournament. The Colts are assured of a top seed and an automatic bye into the second round, one round further than Cottonwood went at state, last year. 

With one win in the second round of the state playoffs at home, the Colts will be heading back to the Dee Events Center on the campus of Weber State University for the quarterfinals. Talk about coming full circle. 

For now, the Colts, who have the best record in the state, will relish this region championship, according to Miller—though they know what lies ahead, potentially. 

“We are pretty excited about competing in this year’s state tournament,” said Miller. “The team has played well and hopefully we can continue to play well as a team in the state tournament. Our players know how tough it is to win come state tournament time and there are a lot of teams this year that are capable of winning it all and we believe we are one of those teams.”

The 2022-23 Cottonwood Colts basketball team by order of jersey number is: 

Ryan Nielson

Jackson Price

Chris Cox

Roman Israyelyan

Harkaran Makhar

Kirath Makhar

Mason Tolley

Max Russo

Kaelen Gray

Tengis Bayasgalan

Tommy Yates

Peter Oguama

Aiden Oliphant

Zeke Griffin

Jacek Budge

Caleb Clark